Turkey's first Romani television station to begin online broadcast
The Turkish edition of CNN and other media outlets report that Ahmet Çokyaşar, the chair of the Turkish Romani Confederation, says giving Romani people a voice and providing a different perspective on them from the one produced by other media outlets is the main aim of the first Romani television station in Turkey, which will begin broadcasting on 20 November. The station, called "Roman TV", will first begin broadcasting in Romani and Turkish through the Internet.
According to Çokyaşar, the station should begin satellite broadcasts to the entire world within half a year's time. The broadcasts will include educational programs and various shows with the aim of increasing the dissemination of information within the Romani community.
Çokyaşar said it is important to give room to Romani people to express their views on various questions and to break down the poor image and stereptypes that the media very frequently create about them. "We want to get rid of that image and this Romani initiative is giving us the chance to do that," he said.
The new channel also wants to run various campaigns and collections to support the education of Romani children. "Many renowned artists are prepared to appear at our events and support us," he said, adding that he wants to use the money collected to finance scholarships.
Çokyaşar also said the broadcasts will include televized debates and programs focused on women. This is not the first Romani initiative in the media field in Turkey.
Since 2014 a Romani newspaper has been in operation there called Gazetem 8 Nisan ("My Newspaper 8 April"), published by the İzmir Roma Association. As many as 700 000 Romani people are estimated to live in Turkey.
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